By Jeffrey Lewis | 28 October 2011.
Source: Arms Control Wonk.
Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller, in a speech at Stanford, praised one of my students, Tamara Patton, for her outstanding work on modeling Pakistan’s Khushab Plutonium Production Complex:
I recently learned about some interesting work of a Master’s Candidate at Monterey Institute, Tamara Patton. Patton is focusing her research on the production capacity of Pakistan’s Khushab Plutonium Production Complex. She is using freely accessible geospatial tools to gather and analyze information about the complex’s capacity levels. The really interesting part comes when she takes the open source satellite images of the complex and turns those into 3-D models using a freely available program called Google Sketch-up. This program constructs the models with dimensions that Patton ascertained using tools in Google Earth and basic trigonometry. The model is then placed on the map and textured using observable features. This modeling can be used both as tool of analysis and as a means of clearly visualizing and communicating results.
Tamara is modeling Khushab for her honor’s thesis, using images generously supplied by the GeoEye Foundation. She hasn’t finished yet, but it looks like she will decisively settle the little spat about the size of the second Khushab reactor. (I am strongly encouraging her to submit her final thesis for publication in a peer reviewed journal. It’s one hell of a model.)
Until then, you can see one of Tamara’s early presentations on Using Geospatial Analysis Tools for Nonproliferation Research. Enjoy!
Considering that Pakistan is a long standing ally on board the CENTO and recipient of modern military platforms and munitions for over half a century, it stands to reason that it is party to numerous Defence Pacts including a Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA), Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) and Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA). The same pacts Washington is pressing India to get on board as a precondition to opening its doors for acquisition of military hardware. BECA comprises an exchange between The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency of the US Department of Defense and its counterpart and client departments in India. It requires both parties to provide “Geospatial Information of any type or format resulting from the information collection, transformation, generation, portrayal, dissemination, or storing of geodetic, geophysical, geomagnetic, aeronautical, topographic, hydrographic, commercial and other unclassified imagery, cartographic, cultural, bathymetric, and toponyrnic data or other types of geospatial information. Geospatial information also includes information resulting from the evaluation of topographic, hydrographic, or aeronautical features for their effect on military operations or intelligence. Geospatial information may include, but is not limited to, presentation in the following forms: topographic, planimetric, relief, or thematic maps or graphics; nautical and aeronautical charts and publications; and commercial and other unclassified imagery, as well as simulated, photographic, digital, or computerized formats”.
If Tamara Patton, a Masters student using ‘publicly available satellite images and Geospatial Analysis Tools to deduce the production capacity of Pakistan’s Khushab Plutonium Production Complex, a useful adjunct to Non-proliferation Research, it stands to reason that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency of the US Department of Defense with access to information by virtue of BECA is better placed to determine the same in far greater detail and accuracy.Before putting a foot unwittingly into the BECA bear trap mandarins in South Block need to revisit India’s pre-eminence in Washington’s non-proliferation targeting strategy and the motives to exclude components of its military nuclear establishment from the much touted ‘Indo-US Nuclear Deal’, which has yet to fructify. In this respect BECA is a pre-requisite to the American counter proliferation targeting policy that hangs as the proverbial Damocles Sword above the Indo-US relationship.